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Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks

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Author Info

  • Karel Mertens
  • Morten O. Ravn

Abstract

We provide evidence on the dynamic effects of tax liability changes in the United States. We distinguish between surprise and anticipated tax changes. Preannounced but not yet implemented tax cuts give rise to contractions in output, investment, and hours worked while real wages increase. There are no significant anticipation effects on aggregate consumption. Implemented tax cuts, regardless of their timing, have expansionary effects, on output, consumption, investment, hours worked, and real wages. Results are shown to be robust. Tax shocks are important impulses to the US business cycle and anticipation effects have been important during several business cycle episodes. (JEL E23, E32, E62, H20, H30)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.4.2.145
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 145-81

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:145-81

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.2.145
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References

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  1. Morten O. Ravn & Karel Mertens, 2008. "The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks: Theory and Empirical Evidence," 2008 Meeting Papers 575, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Morten O. Ravn & Karel Mertens, 2009. "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 480, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B. & Johnsen, Thore, 1998. "Productivity growth, consumer confidence and the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1113-1140, June.
  4. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 11562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2004. "Phased-In Tax Cuts and Economic Activity," Macroeconomics 0404009, EconWPA.
  6. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2003. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Mountford, Andrew & Uhlig, Harald, 2002. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hall, Robert E, 1971. "The Dynamic Effects of Fiscal Policy in an Economy With Foresight," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 229-44, April.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 1994. "The effects of monetary policy shocks: evidence from the flow of funds," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Apr.
  11. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
  12. Souleles, Nicholas S., 2002. "Consumer response to the Reagan tax cuts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-120, July.
  13. Heim, Bradley T., 2007. "The Effect of Tax Rebates on Consumption Expenditures: Evidence from State Tax Rebates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(4), pages 685-710, December.
  14. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O., 2009. "Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  16. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
  17. Nicholas S. Souleles, 1999. "The Response of Household Consumption to Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 947-958, September.
  18. Susan Yang, Shu-Chun, 2005. "Quantifying tax effects under policy foresight," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1557-1568, November.
  19. Karel Mertens & Morten Overgaard Ravn, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated Tax Policy Shocks"," Technical Appendices 09-221, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  20. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," Caepr Working Papers 2008-013, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
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  1. About the impact of anticipated tax changes
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-06-17 14:12:00
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